Cam aims to bring sex-positivity to country music with her new single, “Till There’s Nothing Left.”
Cam left the neon lights of Nashville and headed west to Los Angeles where she co-wrote the track with Hillary Lindsey, Jeff Bhasker and frequent collaborator, Tyler Johnson. After the writing session, Cam received a voice note that featured Lindsey singing the song’s intoxicating opening melody. She was immediately hooked and finished the song the next day in the studio. But as much as she loved the finished product, it was also met with trepidation.
“I hit this moment of being really embarrassed because I feel like I sing about things from a pretty open, progressive thing, but there’s so much weird stuff around sex for women and for women singing it in country,” Cam expresses in a phone call with Sounds Like Nashville. “I had this hesitant moment of ‘am I really going to say all this about getting it on in the backseat?’ I had to have this heart to heart with myself. It’s like ‘you do have quickies in the backseat with your husband,’ and then also, no guy would bat an eye about singing this.” Cam confronted this underlying suppression, calling to mind her grandmother’s sage advice when she sat her down for the birds and the bees talk. “Sex is like a milkshake, once you have it, you’re always going to want it,’” Cam recalls of the conversation. “If she can own it, I can own it.”
And own it she did. The sultry nature of the song isn’t explicit, but rather meaningful to the singer who is telling the person she loves that she wants to give her all to them. The song’s chill-inducing lyrics speak of disappearing into a lover, lost in a love affair so passionate it burns like star fire. Cam captures this sense of desire in the music video that takes place at a bar at the end of the world, as a couple engages in one last rendezvous in the backseat of the car before the earth succumbs to an apocalypse. “If you’re going to tell someone you want to give them everything of you until there’s nothing left, if you didn’t say it physically, it’s not the same meaning anymore,” Cam describes of the lyrics.
The song’s essence also fits the mold of the singer’s personal definition of feminism, which connects the universal ideal that all sexes are equal with the idea that being an independent woman can be attached to emotional intimacy, a truth she had to discover on her own. Growing up watching shows like Sex and the City instilled her with the mindset that being a strong woman and equal to men means engaging in intimate relationships without emotional attachment. But Cam had to journey through her own life experiences to understand it’s not always that black and white. “For me fully knowing who I am, which is a lifelong journey, and then saying ‘I want to commit all of who I am to someone else and not lose myself, but for a greater experience that we’re both going to have together,’ I wasn’t given that in my world as how to be a strong woman,” she explains with confidence. “I had to figure that out for myself.”
“Till There’s Nothing Left” is the lead single off Cam’s highly anticipated sophomore album, following her critically acclaimed Untamed debut that features her breakthrough hit, “Burning House.” She says the new endeavor is a “natural progression” from her first project, describing it as a balance of “very acoustic” and “minimal” songs that sit alongside elaborate production numbers like “Till There’s Nothing Left.” The singer is honest in sharing that her life experience is what shaped this new project, from marrying husband Adam Weaver to welcoming their daughter Lucy in December 2019, those joyful moments balancing out some of the darker ones she experienced along the way that helped give her clarity and make judgment calls about what’s in her best interest. “I think I feel more comfortable as myself and what I think sounds good and the colors that I want to paint with,” she says of her approach. “’It means something to me and that’s why I’m choosing it’ – you’ve got to be as true to that as you can so you can get the best emotion across and the best authenticity across.”
In the five-year gap between albums, Cam says that time allowed her to perfect the work and ensure she is presenting her best self through her music. “It ended up being kismet in how it’s all now coming out this time and me feeling so confident and comfortable,” she assures. “It’s a great time to be putting it out.”
Cam anticipates an early summer release for the album.